Listen Live

UPDATES: Roaring Fork Valley Coronavirus: April 26 - May 2, 2020

Credit Eleanor Bennett / Aspen Public Radio

Glenwood Springs Extends Public Building Closure and Face Mask Requirement, Reinstates Bus and Airport Services

Friday, May 1 - Glenwood Spring's city council voted unanimously today to require face coverings be worn in public; that order is now set to expire on June 4. City Manager Debra Figueroa also extended to closure of public buildings within the city until May 27.

Despite extending public building closures and requiring another month of wearing face coverings in public, City Council voted to resume the Ride Glenwood bus system. Glenwood Springs is working with RFTA on enhanced safety protocols, and is tentatively slated to start service on May 10.

City Council also voted to allow non-critical air traffic at the Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport effective May 4. Restrictions on short term lodging within the city were also lifted during Friday's meeting.

New Basalt Public Health Order Requires Face Masks to Be Worn in Public

Friday, May 1 - Basalt's Town Council passed an emergency ordinance today requiring face coverings to be worn in public. Basalt residents who violate the new order will be subject to fines. Masks don't need to be worn when residents are maintaining social distancing during activities like hiking and biking, but will be required in indoor and outdoor settings when social distancing protocols can't be met.

The order is set to expire on May 26, unless the Basalt Town Council extends it when they meet that day.

Community Food Distribution Begins Today in Snowmass Village 

Friday, May 1 - Snowmass residents can find help with food security at the Snowmass Rodeo parking lot starting today, May 1. Food distribution will continue every other Friday throughout throughout the month of May.

Town Of Basalt Shares Public Health Order Matrix

Thursday, April 30 - The Town of Basalt shared a comprehensive document comparing public health orders in Pitkin County, Eagle County and the state of Colorado.

Aspen Cancels Annual Spring Cleanup

Thursday, April 30 - The City of Aspen announced it will not be holding its annual spring cleanup, citing COVID-19. In a press release, the city said the cleanup requires crews to work closely together, which would not adhere to the six-foot social distance law. The Pitkin County Landfill is still open with limited services. 

RFTA Prepares For Increased Services, Rifle Routes Restored 

Wednesday, April 29 - Roaring Fork Transportation Authority officials in a special meeting Wednesday announced they are formulating and finalizing plans for gradual service increases. This comes after RFTA restored services to-and-from Rifle as of Wednesday, April 29.

Currently, all RFTA buses are allowed to transport nine passengers at a time to effectively practice social distancing. With local stay-at-home orders expected to expire at the beginning of May and other counties in the Roaring Fork Valley transitioning to Gov. Polis' "Safer-at-Home" orders, RFTA officials expect to see an increase in ridership in the coming months. When that does happen, officials said they will transition to Phase Four of its service plan. 

This would mean local shuttles would be scheduled every half-hour instead of hourly, and BRT bus services would scheduled more frequently. Phase Four is expected to be rolled out sometime in May. 

Eagle County Launches COVID-19 Business Toolkit

Wednesday, April 29 - Eagle County announced a COVID-19 toolkit to help local businesses navigate the new public health order. The county's health order went into effect April 27 and allows certain businesses to reopen as long as they can practice social distancing. 

The toolkit gives guidance and resources for businesses as they prepare to reopen, including social distance protocols and social media strategies. 

Pitkin County Public Health “Stay-At-Home” Order To Lift May 9

Monday, April 27 — ​The Pitkin County stay-at-home order will lift on May 9, two weeks after the state “Safer-at-Home” order issued Monday.

Through May 8, all residents of and visitors to Pitkin County must continue to follow the Pitkin County Stay-At-Home Order, originally set to expire on April 30​.

The county says the extension will allow it to develop the strategies and guidelines for preventing a surge of COVID-19.

“We hate to impact the livelihoods of everyone who have been hurt by the COVID-19 restrictions,” said Pitkin County Public Health Director Karen Koenemann. “At the same time we want to avoid relaxing restrictions too quickly, only to have to reimpose them if there is a surge in cases.”

On Thursday the Pitkin County Board of Health will discuss the businesses included in the relaxation of the health order.

When the order goes into effect on May 9, it will remain in force for approximately another 6 weeks. The first planned review of the order will be in early June.

The May 8 order timeline is consistent with the restrictions in other counties, including Boulder, Denver, Adams, Arapahoe and Jefferson counties.

Glenwood Springs Extends Face Covering Health Order Through Friday 

Monday, April 27 – Glenwood Springs City Manager Debra Figueroa has extended the public health order requiring all members of the public to wear face coverings outside their home until May 1.

Glenwood Springs City Council voted 6-1 in favor of the order, which went into effect on April 7 and was set to expire on April 26. City Council will discuss the Face Covering Order at a special meeting scheduled for Thursday.

The Centers for Disease Control says that up to 25% of people infected with the coronavirus may be asymptomatic. The face covering is aimed at lowering the risk of the disease spreading through someone who may be sick but not realize it.

Face coverings can be bandanas, scarves, neck gaiters or other clothing that does not have visible holes. The order encourages the public to use non-medical face coverings. People should wash their masks after every trip out of their homes either in a washing machine or with hot water in their sinks. 

Garfield County Asks Businesses To Submit Social Distancing Plans Before Re-opening

Sunday, April 26 – The COVID-19 “Safer at Home”* stage begins on Monday, April 27. Garfield County Public Health has released a COVID-19 Roadmap to Recovery document, which outlines a plan for implementing Safer at Home guidelines. In Garfield County, some businesses and agencies that were closed during the “Stay at Home” stage may again reopen on Monday, May 4, provided they make all required public health accommodations, and submit a “Garfield County Business Social Distancing Plan” to ensure a safe work environment.

“Social distancing is really contributing to the success of managing the outcomes of these COVID-19 cases,” said Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky. “We haven’t overwhelmed our medical facilities. We now really want to start helping people get back to work, and are going to help businesses reopen as soon as possible.”

Garfield County’s “Safer at Home” order allows businesses to begin ramping up, while still protecting the well-being of its residents. Local businesses and agencies in Garfield County must fill out the online “Garfield County Business Social Distancing Plan.” This includes all businesses, regardless of whether they are currently in operation or not. 

The county isn’t conducting inspections; but will contact a business if it receives reports of an establishment out of compliance with public health orders.

“We’re looking at this reopening process from an educational standpoint, not punitive,” said Garfield County Public Health Director Yvonne Long. “We’re offering guidance on how to safely reopen businesses to both get people back to work and keep them safe.”

For now, Garfield County is following the governor’s plan, with two notable differences:

Garfield County is already allowing retailers to provide curbside delivery and pickup. This is not changing.

Retail and personal services cannot reopen until Monday, May 4. The governor’s order states May 1. All businesses and agencies must submit a “Garfield County Business Social Distancing Plan.”

On April 27, in-person real estate showings may begin, but open houses are prohibited. On May 4, under strict social distancing precautions, medical and dental offices can reopen; retail businesses can open to the public beyond curbside pickup and delivery; personal services, including salons, dog grooming, personal training, tattoo parlors; and large workplaces may return at 50 percent of the in-person workforce, with symptoms and temperature checks as employees enter.

In the coming days, Colorado Governor Jared Polis is expected to officially announce the parameters for personal service businesses to reopen, with strict precautions. Any governor’s order that eases statewide restrictions does not supersede compliance with local health orders; personal services should not reopen until these directives are officially conveyed and safety measures can be fully implemented.

Garfield County continues to provide updates and additional information at garfield-county.com; through the Emergency Management news feed at garfieldcounty.net; and on the Garfield County Public Health Facebook page, @garfieldhealth.

Anyone with questions can contact Garfield County Public Health at 970-625-5200, ext. 8120, or submit questions online. Your patience and cooperation are appreciated during this difficult time, as we work to ensure the health and protection of everyone in our community.

Aspen To Parachute COVID-19 Site Launched To Provide Regional Resources

Sunday, April 26 – Aspen Community Foundation has launched an Aspen to Parachute COVID-19 website that lists resources available for individuals and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The A2PCOVID webpage contains information about food resources, financial assistance and childcare. 

A Spanish-language page is also available.